How to plant Bletilla

Bletilla are half hardy perennials and can tolerate temperatures down to between -5C to -10C. They can be planted directly outside between March and May providing the weather is mild, if it is possible that temperatures will dip lower than -5C it is safest to start them off in a cool greenhouse.

— Plant into patio containers or temporary pots to grow on in a cool greenhouse from March onwards. They can be moved outside in May. You can also plant Bletilla bulbs directly outside in borders or containers in May.

— Plant the bulbs around 5cm deep with the shoots facing upwards.

— Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart in borders, or closer together (5-8cm) in patio pots.

— When planting outdoors, choose a sheltered position in full sun with free-draining soil.

— If planting in patio containers, use a free-draining compost such as multipurpose.

— Water-in after planting and continue to water regularly when in growth.

— Allow the soil to become almost dry between watering while the bulbs are dormant and if temperatures are still cool. Don’t allow dormant bulbs to sit in wet and cold soil.

— After flowering, remove the flower stems to 3cm above ground level in autumn. Move containers with Bletilla into a frost-free location for winter. Bulbs planted in borders should be lifted and stored in a cool but frost-free place until the following spring, alternatively you can cover them with around 5cm of dry mulch for winter.

Planting instructions